ALBANIA/BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA/MONTENEGRO/SERBIA – Within the second RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals, co-financed by the UN Peacebuilding Fund, the Center for environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina in partnership with Streets for cyclists in Belgrade, Bajkultura in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Biciklo.me in Montenegro and GO2 in Albania, implemented the project “From sustainable mobility to sustainable peace”.
The project, which took place from April to November 2020, aimed to enhance and promote intercultural dialogue and peace in the Western Balkans, through raising awareness on sustainable youth mobility. Twenty two young people from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, cycled, visited and explored the region.
To document their journey and lessons learned, organizers and participants produced one final movie on the tours in the region, and a publication titled “Four wheels move your body, two wheels move your soul” which consists of inspiring essays collected from the young participants.
“I returned home full of impressions from this trip and I hope that there will be opportunities to participate again in Balkaravana or something similar one day,” Mr David Dabetić, project participant, wrote in his essay.
“For me this was an invaluable experience that brought great people into my life and paved the way for new friendships,” Ms Ivana Anđelić, another project participant, added.
Furthermore, young participants took concrete actions and renovated public spaces in the cities of the Western Balkans which they visited in their tours, by re-thinking innovative infrastructure solutions that can benefit the future generations.
“Although we had almost all the possible difficulties that could have occurred during the implementation of one project, I am very pleased that together with all partner organizations we managed to get the most out of it. Moreover, we have succeeded in much more than that. We are leaving behind wonderful infrastructural changes in five cities in the region, which will serve to promote urban mobility, while we lay the foundations for future cooperation ahead of us,” Mr Dragan Kabic, Project Coordinator, said.
Throughout the project implementation phase, participants discussed, shared experiences, learned about each other’s cultures, by fostering mutual understanding and peace.
“Peace means living together with our differences. It is a choice to be made in each situation, an everyday life decision to engage in sincere dialogue with other individuals and communities,” Ms Fatlinda Hasaj, project participant, emphasized.